The historic Yacht Club Hotel will join Lighthouse Square, the city’s waterfront and its three museums as attractions that will help boost tourism here, officials said. Now, state officials are working with city leaders to help develop the city’s tourism plans. “For years, we have been trying to make Port Isabel a destination,” City Manager Edward Meza said.
Last month, tourism and economic development officials with Gov. Rick Perry’s office toured the city’s attractions to prepare a study of Port Isabel’s tourist market, Meza said. “We’re looking at what we can do to enhance (attractions) to tie it all together,” Meza said. State officials toured Lighthouse Square, the developing waterfront and museums that include the PortIsabelHistoricalMuseum and Treasures of the Gulf museum, said Valerie Bates, the city’s marketing director. The lighthouse built in 1852, now part of a state renovation project, remains one of the city’s biggest tourist draws, Bates said. “It is such an important part of our tourism outreach,” Bates said. Bates said the waterfront, home to what was once a famed shrimp fleet, is primed for retail and residential development. “We find one of the main reasons people come to our area is because of the water,” Bates said. “That’s one of the main features of our tourism.”

Fernando Del Valle